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Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group “Links Up” With Italian Allies

by Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group Public Affairs
04 April 2020

The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group conducted a link exercise (LINKEX) with three Italian naval ships in the Mediterranean Sea on April 4.

The allied Italian naval ships comprised destroyer ITS Andrea Doria (D-553), frigate ITS Alpino (F-594), and frigate ITS Frederico Martinengo (F-596), which all came up with the HSTCSG on Link 16 to share information.

Link 16 is a tactical data link which allows players to share track data, enhance tactical capabilities, and increase self-defense awareness.

Operations Specialist 3rd Class Niya Richardson stood the Maritime Regional Interface Control Officer watch aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) during the LINKEX. 

“It was exciting to communicate in the link with ships from another country and see the changes in the link picture,” said Richardson.

In total, eight ships participated in the LINKEX.

"Tactical data link exercises with our allies are challenging to coordinate, but vital to winning the high end fight,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Symons, the HSTCSG joint interface control officer. “Today was another great opportunity to demonstrate interoperability and share expertise with one another. I'm very proud of our team." 

Operations like LINKEX allow the U.S. Navy to continue refining skills with partner nations, while ensuring it keeps crews safe and operational in the face of COVID 19.

Italy maintains a strong partnership with the U.S. Navy.  U.S. 6th Fleet is headquartered in Naples, Italy, while its command and control ship, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) is located in Gaeta, Italy. In February, Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, embarked aboard Alpino at the invitation of the Italian navy.  The strike group’s operations demonstrate the continued professional development and high-end warfare exchanges between the two navies. 

The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is conducting operations in U.S. 6th Fleet to support maritime security operations in international waters, alongside our allies and partners.  Truman has spent at least one day underway for 30 of the last 34 months, in direct support of global security around the world.

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